Living in Harmony with the Seasons: Winter

Embracing the wisdom of winter allows us the opportunity to improve our health and deepen our connection with the planet. Living in mindful relation with the seasons is Nature’s guide to healthy living.

Winter is for us, as it is for Nature, a time for internal focus, rest, tending our reserves and gathering strength for the year ahead so we can develop and grow. The energy of winter calls us to embrace the essence of what is important to us ~ nourishing our body and spirit, gathering strength, inner peace, and wisdom for what lies ahead.

Suggestions for Living in Harmony during Winter

• Get more rest 
This is nature’s season for rest, repair, and regeneration—a phase important for our next cycle of growth. The Nei Ching, oldest-known document of Chinese medicine, advises: “[In Winter], people should retire early at night and rise late in the morning, and they should wait for the rising of the sun.”

• Schedule more time for your inner life •
Use the energy of the season to discover more about yourself through reflection, reading literature that “restores the spirit,” being more aware of your senses, paying attention to your dreams. The winter season is an especially good time to begin the practice of meditation.

• Choose more “warming” foods 
As the weather cools and the body needs to generate more warmth, include more cooked foods and complex carbohydrates in your meals. Try dishes made with whole grains, squashes, beans, peas, and root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and garlic.

• “Gather round the hearth” with people who mean the most to you 
Winter evenings are an especially good time to rejuvenate and deepen relationships with those closest to you. Keep gatherings simple and relaxed.

• Nourish your kidneys & adrenal glands •

The kidney is the organ associated with winter in Tradition Chinese Medicine. Points on the kidney meridian are nourishing to the body and spirit. Our favorite herbs to take around this time include: astragalus root, hawthorn berry, eleuthero root, schizandra berry, albizia bark, and rhodiola.

Winter is the perfect time to boost your overall vitality.  As we strengthen our internal reserves by living in harmony with the season, we can prepare ourselves for the energy and growth of the new year.